Story and Photo by
Staff Sgt. Corey Baltos
45th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The scheduled mission for the convoy was routine: to drop off humanitarian aid at a local village and make it back home safely.
Prior to their departure, Soldiers were briefed on the increase in insurgent traffic in the area within the past 24 hours, and they were warned that the road ahead was dangerous.
After departing, the convoy encountered an insurgent, causing gunners to exercise the rules of escalating force.
Despite managing to arrive at the village safely and dropping off the much-needed supplies, the Soldiers still came under heavy enemy fire.
Worse, yet, their convoy commander had been hit. And it wasn’t too long afterward that an improvised explosive device crippled one of the Soldiers’ Humvees.
In essence, everything that could have gone wrong for members of the convoy, did go wrong. However, the incidents were just a training exercise for Soldiers of the 25th Transportation Company, 45th Special Troops Battalion, 45th Sustainment Brigade.
The conditions of the exercise, while realistic, were conducted in a safe, controlled environment.
The 45th STB conducted a Coalition Forces Land Component Command convoy live-fire exercise to help certify and prepare three of its subordinate companies for deployment.
The exercise was held March 24-29, here.
To make the training as realistic as possible, it was designed to simulate the types of missions the units will undertake downrange.
Throughout the journey to “Rae Village,” numerous snipers, insurgents, IED emplacements and suicide bombers were present.
A Soldier would never know when or where along the route danger would be encountered.
Of the three companies that participated in the training, two of them — the 25th Transportation Company and Bravo Detachment, 125th Financial Management Company — are scheduled to deploy to Iraq this summer.
The 536th Maintenance Company also participated in the training.
“This training simulates the type of missions the 25th Trans. Co. will be conducting in Iraq,” said Lt. Col. Tracy Lanier, commander, 45th STB. “This training is a good experience for the Soldiers; it gives them the ability to perfect their battle drills and identify their deficiencies prior to combat.”
“It’s all about meeting the standard,” said Col. Steven Pate, deputy commanding officer, 8th TSC, who observed the training. “The Soldiers need to be absolutely certain that they make these scenarios the best they can, because at the end of the day, it is about surviving contact.”
During the exercise, live rounds were used. To minimize safety hazards, however, Soldiers used the crawl, walk, run method of training.
The first run-through was a dry run without ammunition. For the second run, blanks were used. During the final scenario, however, live ammo was used.
“We change the scenarios up a little bit,” said Staff Sgt. Russell Brown, an observer-controller with the 45th Sustainment Brigade, “so they don’t get complacent and think they can relax because the IED is still down the road.”
It has often been said that the more one sweats in training, the less they bleed in combat. Hopefully, the Soldiers of the 45th STB will sweat enough here in Hawaii, at the simulated village, so that everyone in their convoys remains safe and returns home.